Tapping Maple trees for their sap and boiling it down to make syrup has always been a part of the Oneida culture. This ritual is practiced every year when the time is right. This seasonal practice occurs after the first clap of thunder of the late-winter/early-spring. It is said the thunder "wakes the trees."
This project serves the Oneida Tribal School (K-8) and the Oneida Eco-Services Department. It will be utilized as a place for the boiling down of sap, a satellite classroom, and a place of respite along the woodland trail system on the Oneida Reservation.
Cordwood masonry construction is deployed as a means of building in an ecologically responsible way. Wood from fallen trees collected on the reservation for a number of years will be used in its construction. Students from the Oneida Tribal School will help build the cordwood masonry walls.
The structure is also an observational device. Because the observance of nature is an integral part of the Oneida culture, the ventilation cone is also a mechanism for seeing celestial bodies. In particular, "The Seven Dancers" i.e. The Pleiades. The Mid-Winter ceremony of the Oneida is commenced once the Seven Dancers are directly overhead in the sky.